The Montessori Method
The Montessori approach offers a vision of education as an aid to life. Its flexibility provides a matrix within which each child's inner directives freely guide him or her toward wholesome growth.
The premise of the Montessori philosophy is that all children carry within themselves the person they will become. In order to develop physical, intellectual and spiritual potential to the fullest, the child must have freedom - a freedom to be achieved through order and self-discipline.
The classroom environment is organized in an orderly, logical manner. Children choose work which they are capable of doing and are free to use it for as long as they wish without interference from others. This approach alleviates many problems of discipline which might be present in another kind of environment. In addition, the mixed ages provide the younger children the opportunity to emulate the older children's more mature behavior.
Montessori classrooms are prepared environments where children are free to respond to their natural tendency to work. The children's innate passion for learning is encouraged by giving them opportunities to engage in spontaneous, purposeful activities with the guidance of trained adults. Through their work, the children develop concentration and joyful self-discipline. Within a framework of order, the children progress at their own pace and rhythm, according to their individual capabilities.
All children are given lessons in the appropriate use of materials and in courteous behavior in the Montessori environment. The child begins to see School as a community where all are learning to live in harmony. If an individual child's behavior is such that the welfare of the community is jeopardized, that child will experience the consequences of his/her behavior.
The transformation of children from birth to adulthood occurs through a series of developmental planes. Montessori practice changes in scope and manner to embrace the child's changing characteristics and interests.